Race Weekend Central

Stock Car Scoop: Should Bristol Dirt Return for a 4th Year?

A NASCAR Cup Series racer with a dirt background finally won on the surface at Bristol Motor Speedway’s Food City Dirt Race, as Christopher Bell took the win on Easter Sunday (April 9). Behind him, plenty of storylines broke out, from Austin Dillon’s surprising third-place run to some in-race payback (or so it seemed) between Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece.

Adam Cheek and Jared Haas break down the third installment of the event, whether Toyota is on the upswing and discuss if a fourth dirt race should be green lighted for Bristol in 2024.

See also
Christopher Bell Survives Bristol Dirt For First Win of the Season

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About the author

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Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

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Not only NO, hell no. There were 4 lead changes among 4 drivers and 14 cautions for 73 yellow flag laps. That tells you all you need to know. Unless they want to tear the track up and fix it, then Bristol is done. No more trick races…..


Make no mistake, when this decision is made it won’t be about the racing.

SMI is a business, & it was a business decision to go for the gimmick of covering Bristol with dirt due to declining ticket sales, & it worked.

But judging from the number of empty seats, Easter Egg Hunt or not. It was clear that the novelty has about run it’s course.

I would think that they could fill at least as many seats with a regular Bristol race, W/O the heavy expense of installing, & removing the racing surface.

If NASCAR want’s to continue it’s dirt experiment, & the TV numbers will weigh heavily on this. Then their are numerous existing venues that could be leased like they do at COTA.To host a race more cheaply than Bristol.

The Springfield IL, Mile, of Terre Haute, just to name a couple. It would involve bring in temp, seating & maybe leasing off track parking, & shuttling fans. No doubt they could fill every seat, but the deciding factor would be the TV numbers, & the Bristol ratings will tell that tale.

On an unrelated note, I’d like to extend my heart felt condolences to the family of Justin Owen.
Kyle Larson may make it look easy, but every time anyone straps into a Sprint, or Midget, there’s always the possibility of danger.

Gary K

I think the dirt gimmick has run its course. Let’s go back to pavement!


One half the Truck event and just over one third of the Cup event were run under caution. How many ways can someone in the stands or trying to watch on TV say “BORING”?

Kevin in SoCal

Weren’t previous Bristol races run under caution too? Before they “fixed” it, I mean.


Are you comparing the truck or Cup events now to Bristol BB? Before Brian! Really?

Kevin in SoCal

Yes, were there many previous Bristol races with a lot of cautions, too, during the bump-and-run era? Seems strange to me to use that as a yardstick. What was your point that I missed?


My point is that the bumper cars they are using now are not meant to be used on a dirt track. They are not even good for pavement. But the cautions are really good for commercials.


It’s OK that they tried the dirt, but the racing wasn’t very good. Forget the dirt in the future, please.


Racing wasn’t good??!!! What do you define as good racing? I saw 3 wide, crossover racing all night long. I will agree the dirt experiment should be shelved. But there has never been a boring racing at Bristol.

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